Episode 64 – Michael Kirk
Construction Trade Business Owner To Tech Entrepreneur
Michael Kirk is an executive, director & founder of many successful businesses.
Michael has transitioned through construction and now specialises in optimising process management, digital transformation and change management. He is passionate about businesses, the people who work in these businesses, and customers who he can help on a daily basis.
How do successful, multiple business owners allocate their time to all their opportunities?
Now what they do, and they do this religiously, is that each piece of yellow metal on your CAT machine has a QR code or a barcode on it that interacts with AssetPool and we scan it. When the brake test is done, we take a photo of that and we pass or fail it.
So now we know that this unit just passed its brake test and then the evidence is captured live and there’s no more need for… And they added on. They check the reverse sirens, they check the fire extinguishers, they check all of the safety compliance aspects of those units now. They were able to actually bolt on a value add. We don’t just do brake tests, now we can do a third-party inspection of your kit. AssetPool was born because now we couldn’t go to FirePool anymore. So what do we do? So AssetPool was born and we are used across multiple different verticals around the world at the moment, and, it’s kind of another story that we did by accident.
Yeah. I mean, you say that lightly, coming from, like a same position of building software to fix a problem then realizing actually this is interesting that other companies are interested in in. Like that’s one thing and then actually getting that out there. So first of all, I can only congratulate you on that because that’s a difficult, difficult thing to do.
Very different businesses. One thing that’s striking me there is that Kirk Roth Projects, most people listening to this podcast will understand, you’re out there doing service maintenance stuff in the fire protection industry. That’s fairly construction based. Then you go over into tech and now you’re going to sort of run this company. So how did you split your time up? Like, did you literally have to like abandon Kirk Roth and get someone in to help you run that and then spend your time on AssetPool? How did you sort of divide up your time between the two opportunities?
It got really busy, you know. Luckily it was kind of slow going the way we, we got the proof of concepts going and it was like one step in front of the other, you know. I’m sure you’ve had to go through something similar.
I mean, there’s been a lot to learn about. I’m not a tech entrepreneur, so all of a sudden you’re a tech entrepreneur. It’s like almost trying to learn how to ride a bicycle again, because it’s so different to the way of starting a construction type of business that you’ve been used to for 20 years, and now you’re starting a tech business. We would just split the time. I’m somebody who works on big strategy and on my businesses. I think I’m good at delegating and going, “Okay, you run with that, you do that.” And actually focusing my time where and when it was needed and trusting people to do their jobs really.
And I think that’s probably how we got through it. Then there was early friends and family type of investments. Chris, my partner, invested. Pat, I mean him and his dad were in the brake testing industry. They were the guys that actually caused the AssetPool to become AssetPool.
They were early investors in the business, so they believed in it and it’s made a big difference in their business. It’s been a good investment for them. And with getting some investments in it buys you a bit of runway, the next point we got to add more developers yet or not. You know, I feel like our revenue is climbing but as it climbs we just spend more money, adding more resources to bold it and grow it and make sure it’s stable. And that it’s scaling.